Bhojpuri language

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भोजपुरी 𑂦𑂷𑂔𑂣𑂳𑂩𑂲
The word "Bhojpuri" in Kaithi and Devanagari script
Native to India
Region Bhojpur-Purvanchal
Ethnicity Bhojpuri
Native speakers
51 million, partial count (2011 census) [1]
(additional speakers counted under Hindi)
  • Northern (Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria, Basti)
  • Western (Purbi, Benarsi)
  • Southern (Kharwari)
  • Nagpuria (Sadari)
  • Tharu Bhojpuri
  • Madheshi
  • Domra
  • Musahari
  • Caribbean Hindustani
     ·Trinidadian Hindustani
     ·Guyanese Hindustani
     ·Sarnami Hindoestani
  • Fiji Hindi
  • Mauritian Bhojpuri [2]
  • South African Bhojpuri (Naitali) [3]
Official status
Official language in
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji (as the Fiji Hindi language)
Flag of India.svg  India
Language codes
ISO 639-2 bho
ISO 639-3 bho – inclusive code
Individual codes:
hns    Caribbean Hindustani
hif    Fiji Hindi
Glottolog bhoj1246
Linguasphere 59-AAF-sa
Bhojpuri Speaking Region in India.png
Bhojpuri-speaking region
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A Bhojpuri speaker.

Bhojpuri ( /ˌbˈpʊəri/ ; [5] Loudspeaker.svg भोजपुरी  ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Eastern India and the Terai region of Nepal. [6] It is chiefly spoken in western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. [5] [7] Sociolinguistically, Bhojpuri is often considered one of several Hindi dialects. [8] The language is a minority language in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, South Africa, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. [9] [10]


Fiji Hindi, an official language of Fiji, is a variant of Awadhi and Bhojpuri. Caribbean Hindustani, another variant of Awadhi and Bhojpuri, is spoken by the Indo-Caribbean people. [11] It has experienced lexical influence from Caribbean English in Trinidad and Tobago and in Guyana. In Suriname, languages that have lexically influenced it include Sranan Tongo Creole, Surinamese Dutch and English. Another dialect is spoken in Mauritius; its use is declining. As of 2000, it is spoken by about 5% of the country's population. [12]


The word Bhojpuri is derived from Bhojpur. After the conquest of Chero and Ujjainiya Rajputs in 12th century, the Ujjainiyas, who were the descendants of Raja Bhoj captured Shahabad and named their Capital Bhojpur (City of Raja Bhoj). [13] The seat of their government were Bhojpur village which was near Dumraon in Buxar. Two villages named Chhotka Bhojpur and Barka Bhojpur still exist in Buxar, where the ruins of their Navratna Fortress still can be seen. Slowly the word Bhojpur became the synonyms of the Shahabad or Arrah region (Today's Bhojpur district, Buxar, Kaimur and Rohtas) [14] and the adjective Bhojpuri or Bhojpuriya extended to mean the language or people of Bhojpur and even beyond it. Apart from Bhojpuri in the Eastern UP and Western Bihar, there were other names also for the langauage and people, at different places, the Bhojpuriya in Mughal armies were used to called Buxariya. [15] In Bengal, they called Paschhimas (Westerners) and Bhojpuri people also called them Deshwali or Khoṭṭa, in upper provinces like Oudh they called Purabiya. Besides these, Banarasi, Chhaprahiya, and Bangarahi has also used for the langauage and People. Rahul Sankrityayan has suggested two names for it i.e Mallika or Malli (due to ancient kingdom of Malla) and Kashiki (due to ancient Kashi). [16] The Girmityas who were taken to British colonies called it Hindustani and it became Sarnami Hindustani in Suriname and Caribbean Hindustani in Caribbean.


Bhojpuri is a descendant of Magadhi Prakrit [17] which started taking in shape during the reign of Vardhana dynasty. Bāṇabhaṭṭa, in his Harshacharita has mentioned two poets named Isānchandra and Benibhārata who used to write in local language instead of Prakrit and Sanskrit. [18] [19] The earliest form of Bhojpuri can be traced in the Siddha Sahitya and Charyapada as early as 8th century A.D. [20] [21] [22] [23] . Between 11th to 14th century A.D. the Folklores like Lorikayan, Sorathi Birjabhar etc came in to existence. [24] In 15th to 18th century, Kabir and other saints created many Bhajans in Bhojpuri. [25]

Between 1838 to 1917, many Bhojpuriyas were taken to British colonies like Mauritius, Suriname and Caribbean islands were Bhojpuri language also went. Music traditions like Chutney music, Baithak Gana, Geet Gawanai took birth in those countries. [26] [27]

Statue named Baba en Maai commemorating the arrival of first Indian couple in Suriname Paramaribo - Kleine Combeweg - Baba en Mai 20160922.jpg
Statue named Baba en Maai commemorating the arrival of first Indian couple in Suriname

In 19th century, notable works like Devakshara Charita, Badmash Darpan were published. Bhikhari Thakur, in 20th century contributed significantly to Bhojpuri literature and theatre with his notable plays like Bidesiya, Beti Bechwa, Gabarghichor and novels like Bindia and Phulsunghi were published. In 1962, the first Bhojpuri film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo was released and became the founding stone of the Bhojpuri film industry.

Geographic distribution

The Bhojpuri-speaking region covers the area of 73,000 square kilometres approximately in India and Nepal [29] and borders the Awadhi-speaking region to the west, the Nepali-speaking region to the north, the Magahi and Maithili-speaking regions to the east and the Magahi and Bagheli-speaking regions to the south. [6] In Nepal, Bhojpuri is a major language. [10] Bhojpuri-speaking Muslims live in Bangladesh. Their population is lower than that of Bhojpuri speakers in Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji and Caribbean nations.[ citation needed ][ clarification needed ]

Bhojpuri Speakers living in different regions of India
(Note:10 lakh = 1 million; 1 lakh = 100,000) Distribution of Bhojpuri Speakers.png
Bhojpuri Speakers living in different regions of India
(Note:10 lakh = 1 million; 1 lakh = 100,000)

Bhojpuri is spoken by descendants of indentured labourers brought in the 19th and early 20th centuries for work in plantations in British colonies. These Bhojpuri speakers live in Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Jamaica, South Africa and other parts of the Caribbean. [9] [10] [31]


Bhojpuri has several dialects: Southern Standard Bhojpuri, Northern Standard Bhojpuri, Western Standard Bhojpuri, [32] and Nagpuria Bhojpuri. [33] [10]

Southern Standard Bhojpuri is prevalent in the Shahabad district (Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, and Kaimur districts) and the Saran region (Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj districts) in Bihar, and the eastern Azamgarh (Ballia and Mau districts) and Varanasi (eastern part of Ghazipur district) regions in Uttar Pradesh. The dialect is also known as Kharwari. It can be further divided into Shahabadi, Chhaprahiya and Pachhimahi. [34]

Northern Bhojpuri is common in the western Tirhut division (east and west Champaran districts) in Bihar, and Gorakhpur division (Deoria, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, and Maharajganj districts) and Basti division (Basti, Sidharthanagar, and Sant Kabir Nagar districts) in Uttar Pradesh. It is also spoken in Nepal. [35]

Western Bhojpuri is prevalent in the areas of Varanasi (Varanasi, Chandauli, Jaunpur, and the western part of Ghazipur district), Azamgarh (Azamgarh district), and Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Sant Ravidas Nagar, and Bhadohi districts) in Uttar Pradesh. Banarasi is a local name for Bhojpuri, named after Banaras.[ clarification needed ] Other names for Western Bhojpuri include Purbi and Benarsi. [36]

Nagpuria Bhojpuri is the southernmost popular dialect, found in the Chota Nagpur Plateau of Jharkhand, particularly parts of Palamau and Ranchi. It has been influenced more by the Magahi language than by other dialects. [33] [35] It is sometimes referred to as Sadari . [37]

A more specific classification recognises the dialects of Bhojpuri as Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), and Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi). [6]


Vowels [38]
Front Central Back
Close iɪu
Close-mid eəo
Open-mid ɛɔ
Open æɑ
Consonants [38]
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex (Alveolo-)
Velar Glottal
Nasal mnɳɲŋ
Stop voiceless ptʈk
voiced bdɖɡ
aspirated ʈʰtɕʰ
breathy voiced ɖʱdʑʱɡʱ
Fricative sh
Rhotic plainɾɽ
aspirated ɾʱɽʱ
Approximant w~ʋlj

Bhojpuri is, sociolinguistically, one of the seven Hindi languages (Haryanvi, Braj, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Bagheli, and Kannauji). [8] Of the seven, Bhojpuri has the most allophonic variations in vowels. [39]

Bhojpuri has 6 vowel phonemes [17] and 10 vocoids. The higher vowels are relatively tense, and the lower vowels are relatively lax. The language has 31 consonant phonemes and 34 contoids (6 bilabial, 4 apico-dental, 5 apico-alveolar, 7 retroflex, 6 alveo-palatal, 5 dorso-velar, and 1 glottal). [38]

Linguist Robert L. Trammell published the phonology of Northern Standard Bhojpuri in 1971. [38] [17] According to him, the syllable system is peak type: every syllable has the vowel phoneme as the highest point of sonority. Codas may consist of one, two, or three consonants. Vowels occur as simple peaks or as peak nuclei in diphthongs. The intonation system involves 4 pitch levels and 3 terminal contours. [38] [40]

Writing system

Bhojpuri story written in Kaithi script by Babu Rama Smaran Lal in 1898 Kaithi2.png
Bhojpuri story written in Kaithi script by Babu Rama Smaran Lal in 1898

Bhojpuri was historically written in Kaithi script, [6] but since 1894 Devanagari has served as the primary script. Kaithi is now rarely used for Bhojpuri.

Kaithi script was used for administrative purposes in the Mughal era for writing Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Magahi, and Hindustani from at least the 16th century up to the first decade of the 20th century. Government gazetteers[ who? ] report that Kaithi was used in a few districts of Bihar throughout the 1960s. Bhojpuri residents of India who moved to British colonies in Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean in the 19th and early 20th centuries used both Kaithi and Devanagari scripts. [9]

Signboard at Purbi Gumti Arrah along with Persian script (on the right side) and Roman script (above). "Lock no. 11" is written on the board in Bhojpuri. Kaithi signboard.jpg
Signboard at Purbi Gumti Arrah along with Persian script (on the right side) and Roman script (above). "Lock no. 11" is written on the board in Bhojpuri.

By 1894 both Kaithi and Devanagari became common scripts to write official texts in Bihar. At present almost all Bhojpuri texts are written in Devanagari, even in islands outside of India where Bhojpuri is spoken. In Mauritius, Kaithi script was historically considered informal, and Devanagari was sometimes spelled as Devanagri. In modern Mauritius, the major script is Devanagari. [41]


Bhojpuri syntax and vocabulary reflects a three-tier system of politeness. Any verb can be conjugated through these tiers. The verb to come in Bhojpuri is aana and the verb to speak is bolna. The imperatives come! and speak! can be conjugated in five ways, each marking subtle variation in politeness and propriety. These permutations exclude a host of auxiliary verbs and expressions, which can be added to verbs to add another degree of subtle variation. For extremely polite or formal situations, the pronoun is generally omitted.

Literary[teh] āō[teh] bōl
Casual and intimate[tu] āō[tu] bōl
Polite and intimate[tum] āv'[tum] bōl'
Formal yet intimate[rau'ā] āīñ[rau'ā] bōlīñ
Polite and formal[āpne] āīñ[āp] bōlīñ
Extremely formalāwal jā'ebōlal jā'e

Similarly, adjectives are marked for politeness and formality. The adjective your has several forms with different tones of politeness: tum (casual and intimate), "tōhār" (polite and intimate), "t'hār" (formal yet intimate), rā'ur (polite and formal) and āpke (extremely formal). Although there are many tiers of politeness, Bhojpuri speakers mainly use the form tum to address a younger individual and aap for an individual who is older, or holds a higher position in workplace situations.


Greater official recognition of Bhojpuri, such as by inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, has been demanded.[ by whom? ] [42] In 2018, Bhojpuri was given second-language status in Jharkhand state of India. [43] It is also an official language in Fiji as Fiji Hindi and holds the status of a recognised national language in Nepal.

Bhojpuri is taught in matriculation and at the higher secondary level in the Bihar School Education Board and the Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh.[ citation needed ] It is also taught in various universities in India, such as Veer Kunwar Singh University, [44] Banaras Hindu University, [45] Nalanda Open University, [46] and Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University. [47]


Lorikayan, the story of Veer Lorik contains Bhojpuri folklore from Eastern Uttar Pradesh. [48] Bhikhari Thakur's Bidesiya is a play, written as a book. Phool Daliya is a well-known book by Prasiddh Narayan Singh. It comprises poems of veer ras (A style of writing) on the theme of azaadi (Freedom) about his experiences in the Quit India movement and India's struggle with poverty after the country gained independence.


Many Bhojpuri magazines and papers are published in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Several Bhojpuri newspapers are available locally in North India; they are not wealthy enough to be published online. Parichhan is a contemporary literary-cultural Maithili-Bhojpuri magazine, published by a Maithili-Bhojpuri academy and the government of Delhi, and edited by Parichay Das. The Sunday Indian, Bhojpuri [49] is a regular national news magazine in Bhojpuri. Aakhar is a monthly online Bhojpuri literature magazine. [50] Other media in Bhojpuri include Lok Lucknow, [51] and the channels Mahuaa TV and Hamar TV. Bhojpuri Wikipedia was launched in 2003. [52]

Common words


EnglishBhojpuri (Latin script)𑂦𑂷𑂔𑂣𑂳𑂩𑂲 (𑂍𑂰𑂨𑂟𑂲 𑂪𑂱𑂎𑂰𑂆; Kaithi)भोजपुरी (देवनागरी लिपि; Devanagari)

Common phrases

EnglishBhojpuri𑂦𑂷𑂔𑂣𑂳𑂩𑂲 (Kaithi)भोजपुरी
HelloRaam Raam / Parnaam𑂩𑂰𑂧 𑂩𑂰𑂧/ 𑂣𑂩𑂝𑂰𑂧राम राम / परणाम
Welcome/Please come inAain na𑂄𑂆𑂁 𑂢𑂰आईं ना
How are you?Ka haal ba? / kaisan hava?𑂍𑂰 𑂯𑂰𑂪 𑂥𑂰?/𑂍𑂆𑂮𑂢 𑂯𑂫ऽ?का हाल बा? / कइसन हवऽ?
I'm good. And you?Hum theek baani. Aur rauwa?𑂯𑂧 𑂘𑂱𑂍 𑂥𑂰𑂢𑂲𑂾𑂄𑂈𑂩 𑂩𑂈𑂫𑂰? /𑂯𑂧 𑂘𑂱𑂍 𑂯𑂖𑂱𑂾 𑂄𑂈𑂩 𑂄𑂣?हम ठीक बानी। अउर रउवा? / हम ठीक हञि। अउर आप?
What is your name?Tohaar naav ka ha? / Raur naav ka ha?𑂞𑂷𑂯𑂰𑂩 𑂢𑂰𑂀𑂫 𑂍𑂰 𑂯ऽ?/𑂩𑂰𑂈𑂩 𑂢𑂰𑂀𑂫 𑂍𑂰 𑂯ऽ?तोहार नाँव का ह? / राउर नाँव का ह?
My name is ...Hamar naav ... ha𑂯𑂧𑂰𑂩 𑂢𑂰𑂀𑂫 ... 𑂯ऽहमार नाँव ... ह
What's up?Kaa hot aa?𑂍𑂰 𑂯𑂷𑂞𑂰?का होताऽ?
I love youHum tohse pyaar kare ni / Hum tohra se pyaar kare ni𑂯𑂧 𑂞𑂷𑂯 𑂮𑂵 𑂣𑂹𑂨𑂰𑂩 𑂍𑂩𑂵𑂢𑂲/ 𑂯𑂧 𑂞𑂷𑂯𑂩𑂰 𑂮𑂵 𑂣𑂹𑂨𑂰𑂩 𑂍𑂩𑂵𑂢𑂲𑂩 𑂍𑂩𑂵𑂢𑂲हम तोहसे प्यार करे नी / हम तोहरा से प्यार करे नी

Example text

The following is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in four languages:

Kaithi :-

𑂃𑂢𑂳𑂒𑂹𑂓𑂵𑂠 १: 𑂮𑂥𑂯𑂱 𑂪𑂷𑂍𑂰𑂢𑂱 𑂄𑂔𑂰𑂠𑂵 𑂔𑂢𑂹𑂧𑂵𑂪𑂰 𑂄𑂇𑂩 𑂋𑂎𑂱𑂢𑂱𑂨𑂷 𑂍𑂵 𑂥𑂩𑂰𑂥𑂩 𑂮𑂧𑂹𑂧𑂰𑂢 𑂄𑂋𑂩 𑂃𑂡𑂱𑂍𑂰𑂩 𑂣𑂹𑂩𑂰𑂣𑂹𑂞 𑂯𑂫𑂵𑂾 𑂋𑂎𑂱𑂢𑂱𑂨𑂷 𑂍𑂵 𑂣𑂰𑂮 𑂮𑂧𑂕-𑂥𑂴𑂕 𑂄𑂇𑂩 𑂃𑂁𑂞:𑂍𑂩𑂝 𑂍𑂵 𑂄𑂫𑂰𑂔 𑂯𑂷𑂎𑂞𑂰 𑂄𑂋𑂩 𑂯𑂳𑂢𑂍𑂷 𑂍𑂵 𑂠𑂷𑂮𑂩𑂰 𑂍𑂵 𑂮𑂰𑂟 𑂦𑂰𑂆𑂒𑂰𑂩𑂵 𑂍𑂵 𑂥𑂵𑂫𑂯𑂰𑂩 𑂍𑂩𑂵 𑂍𑂵 𑂯𑂷𑂎𑂪𑂰𑂿


अनुच्छेद १: सबहि लोकानि आजादे जन्मेला आउर ओखिनियो के बराबर सम्मान आओर अधिकार प्राप्त हवे। ओखिनियो के पास समझ-बूझ आउर अंत:करण के आवाज होखता आओर हुनको के दोसरा के साथ भाईचारे के बेवहार करे के होखला। [53] 

See also

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The Bhojpuri region or Bhojpur is an area encompassing parts of the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in northern India where the Bhojpuri dialect of Hindi is spoken as the mother-tongue. The Bhojpuri region is bordered by Awadh in the west and Mithila in the east. Ujjainiya Rajputs of the former Shahabad district of ancient Bihar established their headquarters in the town of Arrah, Bhojpur district from where the whole region received its name.

Central Indo-Aryan languages Central Indo-Aryan

The Central Indo-Aryan languages or Hindi languages are a group of related language varieties spoken across North India and Central India. These language varieties form the central part of the Indo-Aryan language family, itself a part of the Indo-European language family. They historically form a dialect continuum that descends from the Madhya Prakrits. Located in the Hindi Belt, the Central Zone includes the Dehlavi (Delhi) dialect of the Hindustani language, the lingua franca of Northern India that is the basis of the Modern Standard Hindi and Modern Standard Urdu literary standards. In regards to the Indo-Aryan language family, the coherence of this language group depends on the classification being used; here only Eastern and Western Hindi will be considered.

Angika (अंगिका) is a language spoken primarily in the Anga region of Bihar and Jharkhand states of India. In addition to India, it is also spoken in some parts of the Terai region of Nepal. It belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan language family. It is closely related to languages such as Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Maithili and Magahi.

Kaithi is a Unicode block containing characters historically used for writing Bhojpuri, Magahi, Awadhi, Maithili, Urdu, Hindi, and other related languages of the Bihar/Uttar Pradesh area of northern India.

The Bhojpuri people are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group from the Indian subcontinent who speak the Bhojpuri language and inhabit the Bhojpuri-Purvanchal region. This area is now divided between the western part of the Indian state of Bihar, the eastern part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, along with some neighbouring districts in the Madhesh of Nepal. A significant diaspora population of Bhojpuris can be found in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, other parts of the Caribbean, Fiji, South Africa, and Mauritius.

Chandan Tiwari Bhojpuri Folk singer

Chandan Tiwari is an Indian folk singer from Bihar. She is known as folk singer and sings in Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, Nagpuri, Awadhi and Hindi. She was awarded Sangeet Natak Academy-Bismillah Khan Samman. She honoured by Bhojpuri Kokila in Kolkata. BAG Films-News 24 awarded her best traditional folk singer. She appeared in India Today Magazine in cover story for her contributions to Indian folk music. She has been singing in various forms of folks like Purabi Sohar, Pachra Gandhi song, River Song, Chhath Song Kajri and Thumri.

Bhojpuri Wikipedia

The Bhojpuri Wikipedia is the Bhojpuri language version of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. The site was launched on February 21, 2003. Bhojpuri is today written in the Devanagari script. Bhojpuri is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in northern-eastern India and the Terai region of Nepal. It is It is chiefly spoken in western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. The language is a minority language in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, South Africa, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.


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Further reading